April 14, 2004
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On Tap: Kansas Relays
Where: Lawrence, Kan. (Hershberger Track)
Session One: Thursday, Apr. 15 at 11 a.m.
Session Two: Friday, Apr. 16 at 8 a.m.
Session Three: Saturday, Apr. 17 at 8 a.m.
*Click Here For Live Stats*
Kansas Relays Events Schedule
Men's Outdoor Individual Results
Women's Outdoor Individual Results
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee track and field program will be looking to rebound from a tough team performance last week by heading to Lawrence, Kansas for the 77th Annual Kansas Relays. The meet will run over the span of three days and will begin Thursday, April 15. and will conclude on Saturday, April 17.
This year's KU Relays will feature over 5,000 athletes from across the United States and will also be featuring live stats on the internet. Live stats can be found at www.tickertiming.com.
About The Panthers
The 2004 version of the Panthers' track and field team features a great deal of youth as the women's roster is compiled of 31 athletes with 22 of them being underclassmen. The men's team is comprised of 28 athletes with 20 athletes being freshmen and sophomores. Not only do both teams face the challenge of competing at a high level with younger athletes, but the women's team has the task of making up for the graduation of athletes like Lynda Thiel, Stephanie Kenesie and Kristi Naef. Plus, the Panther women also carry the reign of 2003 Horizon League Indoor and Outdoor Champions. The Panther men will be looking to return to championship form under the leadership of Adam Hobler, Eric Gresham and Nick Davis. All three were members of the last outdoor championship that the men's team captured in 2002.
Last Year At Kansas
Last year's Kansas Relays were memorable for Adam Hobler. Hobler, a junior at the time, came through with a record-breaking performance in the 400-meter run during his preliminary heat of the event. The Panther sprinter completed the event with a time of 48.56 to break George Bezold's 24-year-old mark of 48.74. Bezold's record was set back on May 5, 1979.
More Fun In Lawrence
Hobler wasn't the only Panther having fun at the Kansas Relays last season. Hobler teamed up with Gabe Wagoner, Nick Bruskewitz and Elliot Enright to compete in the 1600-meter relay. The quartet of athletes placed 17th in the event, but posted a time of 3:17.17, good for one of the fastest marks for UWM since joining Division I athletics in 1990. The time also ranked third all-time in the school's history.
Speaking of Records
Nick Wichert threw out of his mind on Saturday afternoon at the Lee Calhoun Invitational (4/10). Entering with UWM's top hammer thrower with a season-best distance of 151' 6", the sophomore didn't sit on past results. Wichert used Saturday as a chance to show what he could do and made the most of it by notching a throw of 171' 9". Not only was the throw a season high, but it also broke UWM's 36-year-old record distance of 170' 5" held by Dave Gename set back in 1968.
Keeping Her Standards High
Sophomore Tenia Fisher continues to use each meet as a chance to show that she is one of the league's top mid-distance runners. Fisher, who ran a school-record time of 2:12.04 in the 800-meter run during the indoor season, had her best performance in the outdoor 800 at the Lee Calhoun Invitational by completing the event in a time of 2:14.62. Her time placed her second in the event, but shot her to the top of the Horizon League's top performance list.
Back To Jumping Heights
Senior Nick Davis had his best high jump height of 6' 7.25" during the indoor season at the University of Chicago Invitational (1/24), but had struggle to put together solid heights since that point. Davis appears to be finding his rhythm after he cleared an outdoor-best height of 6' 6.75" at the Big Blue Invitational (4/3). Although, it's wasn't his best overall height of the year, the Racine native currently sits atop the Horizon League with the height.
Perez Continues To Get Better
Iris Perez has developed into one of the league's top 200-meter dash competitors after claiming the title in the event during the Horizon League's Indoor Championships (2/28) with a time of 25.47. The sophomore has been using the outdoor season as a chance to continue the improvements on her times. After running the 200 to a time of 25.75 during the Big Blue Invitational, Perez topped her time by completing the event with a time of 25.72 during the Lee Calhoun Invitational.
Gresham Back In Competition
Eric Gresham made his second performance of the outdoor season by capturing a fifth-place finish in the 400-meter run at Western Illinois (4/10). The Pewaukee native ran to his fastest outdoor time of the season by notching a time of 49.55. Gresham's fastest time last year was 48.94 at the league championships (5/8).
Taking The Hurdles As They Come
Every hurlder knows that you don't approach the hurdles as as one giant obstacle. Instead, most know that you need to take each one as it comes. Katie Slamka has been taking the right approach to the hurdles as she tries to become the top runner in both the 100 and 400-meter hurdles. Slamka's best time in the 100-hurdles is currently 14.77 which should place her second in the league. However, the sophomore's time of 1:03.18 is the mark to beat within the Horizon League.
Stephanie Ray has turned herself into a triple threat for the UWM track and field team this season. Using her skills and athletic talent, Ray is quickly becoming strong in the pole vault, triple jump and javelin. Over the weekend, Ray vaulted herself to clear a height of 10' 11.75" which places her well ahead of any other league competitor. The Racine native also had her best performance of the outdoor season over the weekend in the triple jump with a leap of 35' 4". Ray currently ranks second on the women's team in the javelin with her throw of 81' 4.75".
Running Strong Again
Freshman mid-distance runner Justin Gorman had an indoor season that most first-year collegiate athletes wish they could have. Gorman was named Horizon League Athlete of the Week (2/3) and qualified for the Junior Nationals Track and Field Championship after running the 800-meter run in a time of 1:52.39 at the ISU Classic (2/13). Gorman, from Spring Valley, has continued to run strong as he competes in the outdoor season. Competing in the 1,500-meter runs, Gorman improved his best time to 3:58.34. His previous best time was 3:59.50.
His Best Day
Freshman thrower Nick Gretz had his best day as a UWM Panther in Charleston, Ill. at the Big Blue Invitational. Gretz claimed his season-best throws in the shot put and discus during the competition. With throws of 49' 5.5" in the shot and 157' 6" in the discus, Gretz claimed two third-place finishes during the competition.
Sophomore Tenia Fisher should break out the boxes as she'll have to do some reshuffling of items on her trophy case. Fisher, who was named the Horizon League's Outdoor Track and Field Newcomer of the Year in 2003 added two more awards to her shelf. Fisher was named the Horizon League's Indoor Track Athlete of the Meet for the league's indoor championships and has also been named the Horizon League's Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Fisher had an outstanding indoor season by running the 800-meter run in a time of 2:12.04 and claiming two first-place finishes at the indoor championships (3/26-27).
Taking It The Distance
Ben Uphoff apparently doesn't mind going the distance for things. The freshman distance runner did go the distance by claiming his first collegiate win for track and field. Competing in the 5,000-meter run at the Purdue Invitational (3/26-27), Uphoff won the race with a time of 15:28.27. The New London native finished just under 24 seconds in front of the second-place time (15:53.01).
Tag Team Effort
Don't tell Jeremy Majors, Gabe Wagoner, Adam Swanson or Elliot Enright that running the 800 can't be a tag-team effort. The four athletes did their best at the Purdue Invitational to make sure they were the one's to beat. When it was all said and done, Majors was in first-place, Wagoner was in second, and Swanson and Enright claimed fourth and fifth.
Doing The Math
Had the Purdue Invitational been scored for team points, the finishes by Majors, Wagoner, Swanson and Enright would have netted more total points than had just one of them finished in first-place.
Port Washington native and freshman distance runner Kourtney Nault is making a habit of finishing sixth in her events during the 2004 outdoor season. Nault opened the outdoor season up by running in the 10,000-meter run and has competed in the 5,000-meter run in the last two outdoor meets. In all three, she's claimed sixth-place finishes.
Another One For The Coach
Panther head coach Pete Corfeld is one of the more quiet coaches in the sport of track and field. A knowledgable coach, Corfeld resigns to the fact that the athletes do the work. However, his work hasn't gone unnoticed either. Corfeld recently led the Panther men to the 2004 Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championship and was also named Coach of the Year. For the Panther head coach, the award was the 20th time he's won it and the championship was his 21st.
Christian Loves To Run
Anna Christian is showing how much she loves to run and just how good she is at it. When the junior opened up the 2004 outdoor season at Purdue (3/27), she registered the team lead in the 10,000-meter run with her time of 37:27.57. Christian hasn't stopped there. She took on the next task of competing in the 5,000-meter run during the Lee Calhoun Invitational and grabbed the team lead in the event after posting a time of 17:38.33.
While Christian has strong times in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter run, it may be tough for her to break the school records. The record time in the 10,000-meter run is 34:56.71 set by Angie Molter in 1996. While Christian is roughly two and a half minutes off the record time, it may be easier for her to aim for the school record in the 5,000-meter run. The record time of 16:49.20 held by Cheryl Konkol from 1982 may be easier to claim sincer Christian's current time is 17:38.33. However, it's still a tough task for a runner to improve a time by 50 seconds with just four meets remaining.
Rebuilding The Engine Like New
After finishing fourth at last year's Horizon League Indoor Championships and dropping to fifth in the outdoor championships, the Panther men are readying themselves to rebuild the engine to run as if it's brand new. The Panthers had 13 freshman on last year's squad. 10 of them will be returning for 2003-04. Returning 10 freshmen into their second year has been a recipe many coaches use to build depth and to add the necessary experience in hopes that it will translate into early succes. The Panthers still have some key cogs that were a part of the last teams to win the league championship in Adam Hobbler, Eric Gresham and Nick Davis. All three were members of the last indoor and outdoor championships that the Panthers claimed in 2001. Brightness is on the horizon as the Panthers will return some solid sophomores. Gabe Wagoner, named indoor track athlete of the year, and Josh Nygren, who was a solid performer for the cross country program and paced himself all the way to the NCAA Regional Championship.
Defending The Title
The Panther women enter 2003-04 as the reigning indoor and outdoor champions for the Horizon League. The Panthers have entered each season that way since the 2000-01 season. The Panthers won the indoor championship last year on the Klotsche Center Track with 165 team points, third highest in league history. The squad also notched a victory in the outdoor championships. The next closest team to the Panthers had 81 points (Butler). Kristin Naef, Lynda Theil and Stephanie Kenesie were all major contributors to the championships, but have since moved on due to graduation. The Panthers will look to returners like Kalin Konop, Sara Vanderloop, Tenia Fisher and Katie Slamka to continue the dominance. Konop finished 2nd and 3rd in the long jump and triple jump in last year's outdoor championships. VanderLoop placed 4th in the 100 and 3rd in the 200. Fisher claimed the victory in the 400-meter dash and Slamka placed 3rd in the 100-meter hurdles and 2nd in the 400-meter hurdles.